While no official reason has been given for Tony Radoszewski's departure as CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, some members point to significant staff turnover and some signs of frustration among member companies about the direction of the organization.
The Washington-based association unexpectedly announced the change March 28, saying that Radoszewski's last day was March 25.
The chairman of the association's board said little about why the group made the sudden change, but some member companies pointed to news reports about sizable staff turnover.
"That was a really big thing — staff turnover, staff morale," said an executive at one member company who requested anonymity to discuss the change. "In my opinion, I just didn't see any progress being made with the association."
Radoszewski had a relatively short tenure, taking over as president and CEO in September 2019 after nearly 14 years as president of the Plastics Pipe Institute, a much smaller organization in Irving, Texas.
In 2020, he was paid $521,000 as the association's president and CEO, according to its most recent federal tax return. The group is required to publicly disclose its tax return to maintain nonprofit status.
Radoszewski did not respond to a request for comment.
The association, which has 850 member companies and is one of the industry's two-largest trade groups in Washington, had seen significant staff turnover in recent months, with its chief economist and heads of two key councils leaving, along with other staff.
As well, a few months in to Radoszewski's tenure, he restructured and removed several vice presidents and the chief operating officer, who had been on the leadership team of the previous CEO, Bill Carteaux, who died of leukemia in December 2018 at 59.
Another member company executive who is involved in the group pointed to problems managing staff and communicating with those companies.
"Tony, he didn't hold staff together, that's problem No. 1," the executive said. "There were a lot of members who were not happy with this for probably a year and a half or two years. He has not communicated well with members.
"[Tony] was the wrong person at the wrong time, they should have acted much sooner," the executive said.
The association and its leadership did not give any specific reason for parting ways with Radoszewski, neither in a statement nor an interview.
In a March 28 interview, Tad McGwire, chairman of the group's board, said Radoszewski led the association in a difficult time and thanked him for his leadership.
"At this point, I would just phrase it that he's no longer with PLASTICS [as the association calls itself]," he said. "We're grateful for Tony's efforts. He led the organization during a very difficult time. As of today, we're in great shape.
"There's no precipitous event that drove this," said McGwire, who is also president of Industrial Heater Corp. in Cheshire, Conn. "Again, there's not a lot of details for me to offer at this point."
McGwire said the group did not name an interim CEO but said it would be led by its executive leadership team, including Glenn Anderson, vice president of industry and member relations; Wayne Popham, chief financial officer; and Matt Seaholm, vice president of government affairs.
In a February interview to discuss the staff departures, Radoszewski said staff was leaving because of the "Great Resignation" as workers and companies adjusted to life changes from the pandemic.
He also suggested employees could be feeling an impact from the public pressure on plastic, saying it "takes a certain breed of person … to kind of dismiss the negative press we get."